Synopsis


Not every idea is worth a TV series, and of these only a few are hits, spinning off sequels and eventually movies. Rarest of all is the TV show that somehow reaches beyond mere entertainment, creating some kind of looking-glass in which we see ourselves. That has been the fortunate fate of "Star Trek." For 30 years the adventures of Spock, Kirk, the U.S.S. Enterprise, and the subsequent crews, have been watched by millions of fans at least once a day somewhere in the world. But what clearly sets this show apart is the fan phenomenon it has created, a group of people who have come to be known as "Trekkies" or "Trekkers."

To be a fan is one thing, but to be a "Trekkie" puts you in a whole different league. Why this particular show? What meaning has this show had in these people's lives? What kind of spiritual or psychological impact does it have? Does the show's message hold some kind of utopian ideal for the future? Does the show somehow create a way for people to feel they "fit in?" How has it inspired real life scientists, doctors, astronauts, and engineers? The "Star Trek" actors and the fans interviewed in TREKKIES answer these questions and others. The subjects profiled in the documentary span the entire spectrum of fans, from non-uniform wearing doctors, scientists, and teachers to Trek-uniform-wearing Dentists, Jurists, mothers, kids, and others. One fan is Barbara Adams.

3-Barbara adamsBarbara Adams was chosen for jury duty in the Whitewater trial in Little Rock, Arkansas. She also wore her Starfleet Commanding Officer's uniform to the trial. Unusual, you might say? Not to Lt. Commander Barbara Adams, who rarely leaves home without her rank pips, tricorder, phaser, and communicator badge. She has embraced the philosophy espoused in "Star Trek" and lives her life accordingly. Barbara is a bright and thoughtful woman as well as a talented artist. She also happens to be a fascinating subject, as we discovered following her through a typical day as a true-blue Trekkie, while she lets us in on what this personally means to her.

Gabriel Koerner is the fourteen-year-old from Bakersfield, California, who has attended 28 conventions so far. He and his "Star Trek" club are planning to shoot their own "Star Trek" movie. And Gabriel is creating special effects on his home computer that make some of Hollywood's best work pale by comparison. We got to know Gabriel well, spending several days with him and his father, as they attended club meetings and conventions.

There is Dr. Denis Bourguignon, a dentist in Orlando, Florida, who has trademarked the name, "Starbase Dental," and whose office has a "Star Trek" theme. He, his wife Shelly, and his entire dental staff wear "Star Trek" uniforms while working on their patients. Everywhere you look there is some sort of trekabilia. We spent a day with him and his patients, to find out how this affects them and to ask why they go to a dentist dressed in a "Star Trek" uniform? Is it more than a novelty?

e1Joyce Mason is the on-air host of the "TALK TREK AND BEYOND" radio show on CRN (2.5 million listeners), a nationwide call-in show. The show airs out of Sunland, California, Sunday nights from 9:00pm to 10:00pm. Joyce's show is a free-form discussion of all things Trek-related. Guests on the show have ranged from "Star Trek" cast members to UFO abductees. Seven years ago, Joyce was working at a law firm as a legal assistant, when she turned to Evelyn de Biase, a Trek-fan co-worker, and said, "Nobody's doing a 'Star Trek' radio show--we should do one." Having no broadcast training, and not sure where to start, Joyce called directory assistance and asked for the phone number to a radio station. When the operator asked, "Which radio station?" Joyce said, "I don't know. Pick one." Joyce made the call, and the radio station's general manager said, "Sounds interesting, let's talk." The show has aired ever since.... The way Joyce puts it, "Some people talk French, some talk German, we talk Trek!"

David, Laurel, and Tammi (their poodle) Greenstein, of Woodland Hills, California share a love of "Star Trek." David wears his Starfleet uniform on a regular basis, and has a house full of "Star Trek" memorabilia. He is so enamored of the Vulcan approach to life, he has even considered plastic surgery to give his ears Vulcan-shaped points.

e3Daryl Frazetti is a cat owner from Boston who's cat, "Bones," wears Dr. McCoy uniforms. They do everything together, including watching "Star Trek" on TV. Unfortunately Bones passed away a few months after filming, due to a genetic left atrial enlargement complicated by an infectious peritonitis virus (Daryl is studying to be a veterinarian), but Daryl's new cats, "Jasper" and "Bones Junior" are learning to enjoy "Star Trek" as well.

11The list of profiled Trekkies is long. A man legally changed his name to James T. Kirk; Pat Rimington, a convention promoter, auctioned off John de Lancie's half empty water glass for $60; Glen Proechel, founder of the Interstellar Language School in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, teaches students from around the world to correctly speak the Klingon language; the Chamber of Commerce of the town of Riverside, Iowa (Population 826), proclaimed the town the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk (3-22-2228); the people of the town of Vulcan, Alberta, Canada constructed a thirty-one-foot replica of the Starship Enterprise at the entrance to the city.... The effects of "Star Trek" reach far and wide.

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